Is a Black Child an Asset with a Value? Another way to look at one of God’s Most Precious Gifts, An Achiever in Training™
I have two passionate loves in life: property investment and family. Lately, I have been distracted by the growing disturbing statistics racing across my email screen each week. Life working on the internet has its rewards but is wrought with nagging disturbances. Someone insists on forwarding a petition to fund a wronged black child’s legal battle, or someone else forwards me one of those morbid stories about a senseless death of a black baby in a hot smoldering car. Global competition losses are forever popping in and out of my provider’s news flash. After each toy recall, I stop and wonder why and how many babies’ lives may be potentially negatively impacted over the next few years from tainted Chinese toys. Are there really no better places in the world to manufacture or import safe baby toys? Are the exported products the only ones with a lead threat to little babies proper brain functioning and ability to solve complex life problems say in year 2028? Are the Chinese child care centers scrambling around with plastic bins collecting up defective products to send to the local dump as well?
These recent events have left me reviewing a list of child asset value and neglect problems of potentially King Rameses I proportions: How much are African American babies really worth to the United States? In the same spirit that Miriam, a relatively unknown yet a historically brave soul, was directed by God to find a creative way to shelter Moses from the Egyptian child massacres of the time. As an unknown, our team prays for the strength and favor to creatively find ways using online tools to gain powerful support from influential leaders to shelter and protect our entire generation of black babies. How much is a black child worth in the United States? The fact that there is no black-and-white answer to that question is beginning to create a credibility gap between black parents and their 4 Ps (pastors, public schools, police and politicians).
“In today’s society people don’t believe that certain groups of our offspring are a valuable asset but rather they are treated as disposable liabilities from the day they are born…often their very basic self esteem needs are ignored by adults,” says Thomas Gosier, co-founder of the Achiever in Training Program, an innovative curriculum tool that offers a unique after-school tutorial on Science, Math, Artifacts of Culture, Reading and Test Taking (S.M.A.R.T). The creative program provides life skill training for at-risk preschoolers up to 3rd grade students.
Every day in the media gossip another parent is shown publicly walking away from their young children. I often daydream while reading my emails, if we could put a financial value on the future life of each one of these beautiful babies, would it make people stop and reevaluate their decisions or thought process? Imagine walking away from a cute little million dollar brown bundle of joy sitting on a stack of financial options? Would it capture the interest of people who could help implement viable solutions? Would it at least make people just stop and imagine his or her potential in life?
10 Key Gap Problem Indicators
According to BlackParentConnect.com, there are 10 key statistical gaps as an example of how problematic raising a high achiever is for a parent and 10 key statistical gaps that point to possible immediate and viable solutions.
1. 105 point gap in SAT Math scores between black students and white students (source: US Department of Education NCES Status and Trends in the Education of Blacks pg.62)
2. 96 point gap in SAT Verbal scores between black students and white students (source: US Department of Education NCES Status and Trends in the Education of Blacks pg. 62)
3. 55% gap in AP exam sittings between black students and white students (source: US Department of Education NCES Status and Trends in the Education of Blacks pg. 60)
4. 42% gap in having 1 or more risk factors for school success between black students and white students (source: US Department of Education NCES Status and Trends in the Education of Blacks pg. 68)
5. 36% gap in using a computer at home between black students and white students (source: Status and Trends in the Education of Blacks pg.82)
6. 36% gap in participation in kindergarten orientation/class visitation programs between schools serving low minority populations and schools serving high minority populations (source: NCES analysis)
7.18% gap in parents reading to children at home between black and white parents (source: US Department of Education NCES Status and Trends in the Education of Blacks pg.24)
8. 15% gap in taking advanced level math classes between black and white students (source US Department of Education NCES Status and Trends in the Education of Blacks pg. 56)
9. $7,600.00 gap in average yearly earning between black males and white males (source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census based on March Current Population Survey, 2000)
10. $13,800.00 gap in average yearly earning between black females and white males (source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census based on March Current Population Survey, 2000)
10 Key Gap Solution Indicators
1. $19,683.00 gap in median income for households between black families and white families (Source U.S. Census Bureau 2005 American Community Survey)
2. 37% gap in the belief that they “make great effort to become more connected with my heritage between blacks and whites (Yankelovich MONITOR Multicultural Marketing Study 2006)
3. 29% gap in the rate of homeownership between blacks households and white households (Source U.S. Census Bureau 2005 American Community Survey)
4. 29% gap in voter participation between blacks who completed college vs. blacks who did not finish high school (source: US Department of Education NCES Status and Trends in the Education of Blacks pg. 124)
5. 26% gap in unemployment between blacks who completed college vs. blacks who did not finish high school (source: US Department of Education NCES Status and Trends in the Education of Blacks pg. 114)
6. 24% gap in the belief that “My roots and heritage are more important to me today than they were just five years ago” between blacks and whites (Yankelovich MONITOR Multicultural Marketing Study 2006)
7. 20% gap in the likelihood of a family deciding to buy “private label and generic brands” if it suddenly found itself with less money between black families and white families (Yankelovich MONITOR Multicultural Marketing Study 2006)
8. 15% gap in percent of first-time kindergartners whose teachers reported that the students pay attention “often” or “very often,” between black children and white children (source: Status US Department of Education NCES Status and Trends in the Education of Blacks pg. 47)
9. 13% gap in the of adults with at least a bachelors degree between blacks and whites (Source U.S. Census Bureau 2005 American Community Survey)
10. 13% gap in people over 18 going online between blacks and whites (according to a Pew national survey completed in February 2004)
So I ponder did someone just wake up one day and realize that our solution in solving our nation’s social problems with black children have just not been working and that the value of their achievement are worth that much less? Is that why folks are calling to end affirmative actions that were designed to right past wrongs? Did we really do enough to invest in these human assets to assume that the portfolio is now safe in 2007 from investment or inflation risk? Based upon the 10 key problem statistical gaps above I would think not really. Diversification has been the solution for managing investments. How diversified have our nation’s past investments and award winning solutions been to fix these gaps? Yet and still, I get inspired and encouraged by reviewing the 10 key statistical solution gaps because I truly believe that we each could make a difference one child at a time.
Teachers should not be charged with creating value in these precious assets. I believe that they should be charged to help diversify the risks facing our future leaders and achievers from reaching their God given potential in life. They help determine how the resources are allocated for improving and growing our assets that have been entrusted by we parents and our taxpayers. Their talent and skills as teachers help minimize the risks of obsolescence and depreciating value in a globally competitive world. I guess I see a need for my daughter’s teacher to help me better understand my investment in my child but I am ultimately the steward who is accountable by God for her performance against life’s benchmarks. Yes, she is my trusted advisor but not the owner of the asset.
Let Us All Count the Ways
Even those who make their prestigious living on Wall Street doing asset valuations admit that putting a price tag on an investment portfolio involves complex valuations. Determining the value of black children would of course be a futile and ridiculous exercise. Or would it perhaps point to some very direct and creative solutions?
In financial investment valuation, there are three ways to appraise an asset: the cost approach, which is the total cost from creating the asset; the sales comparison approach, which values an asset based on recent sales of similar properties; and the income approach, which is based on a discounted cash flow model. For purposes of this paper, we could adapt one of three models to appraise a black child. We could review the cost approach which would be the total cost of creating a mature and productive 21 year old adult. We could analyze the comparison approach which compares recent standardized test scores and publicly reported statistics of children who are white, Asian or Hispanic. Finally, we could build a case for the earning potential. This would discount the future projected cash flows of children pursuing wholesome, productive and engaging careers or building globally competitive enterprises.
“Now you know good and well that you can’t compare a stock portfolio to a group of human souls, ” one may argue. Tommy Gosier, a father of two toddlers disagrees, “The funny thing to me is that some men will call a stock broker several times a day to check and see how their portfolio is performing in the market or will not hesitate to call a buddy to check on the scores from a football game yet some men will not even stop to pick up the phone to check to see how his child fared in school this week.” Maggie Joachim, a divorced mom of three students says, “What you value in life will come back to bless or haunt you down the road. We are seeing examples all around us of what happens when you undervalue the precious lives of our children.”
President Bush helped draw attention to this neglect with the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) which sets 2014 as the deadline by which schools were to close the test-score gaps between minority and white students. Many critics say that this cannot be accomplished in one lifetime. However with change can come progress. Henry L. Johnson, an assistant Secretary of Education said, “To reach the 100% by 2014, we’ll have to work faster and smarter”. So our team will discuss this important topic and most importantly challenge our leaders for more solutions over the course of the next 12 months. Each month our team will focus our dialogue on one of the above listed problem gaps. We ask everyone to look around their unique sphere of influence and don’t criticize, organize. Look at your children, your grandchildren, your nieces, your nephews, your distant cousins, your neighbors and your church. Help establish a specific local goal for a child one on one. Person to Parent. Develop an action step, a written plan and/or a measurable result for that one specific child. We believe that our parents, pastors, public schools, police and politicians can all benefit by working together in each community. It is time that individuals stop pointing fingers and start pushing the proactive start button in managing these precious assets from God.
So despite the complexities of the problems, we passionately believe that the solution is very simple. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley has recently said, “In the last ten years, an extraordinary amount of scientific research has been developed that tells us in very clear terms that all of our children, even in the earliest months of their lives, have an amazing ability to learn. We now know that it is absolutely imperative that we put a new, powerful, and sustained focus on the early years-birth to five-before children even enter first grade. Put simply, and this should be our collective motto—the stronger the start, the better the finish…Our children are smarter than we think.” We strongly support and agree. In fact it is very similar to our own motto: Education! Important GEAR for LIFE. So won’t you help us? Let us link together, let us connect our various roles, and let us each invest smart in our future expected returns from God’s most precious gift…a brilliant portfolio of Achievers in Training ™.
The Achiever in Training™ and S.M.A.R.T curriculum are copywritten and proprietary programs developed by HBCU kidz, Inc.
For more information about the program or the limited edition gift collection visit www.BlackParentConnect.com
The site contains information and ideas to proactively promote positive images for African American children and their families. Contact Joan Gosier at 1-888-HBCU-kid